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  • Writer's pictureHeather Murphy

How to Survive the Open!

After being in 8 Opens, I've seen a lot when it comes to common mistakes people make. I've done it all myself and learned valuable lessons that I'd like to now share with you all ♥️

Don't Skip.

First and foremost, the Open is a LONNGGGG 5 weeks. That works out to roughly 10% of your training for the year, that is pretty significant! That said, it's important to maintain your training schedule as normal as possible. Don't skip 2-3 workouts every week because you are "resting" for or "recovering" from the Open WOD. The idea should be to continue to WOD as normal during the week but think about scaling the intensity back for your workouts instead of skipping them all together. One surefire way to INCREASE soreness is to rest for several days before hitting an Open WOD with 100% intensity. So try your best to maintain the normal schedule you had before we started the open!


The Open and our training methodology year round is all about integrity. But what does integrity mean in our context? In a nutshell it means that you maintain a high level of movement standards for yourself and your peers. For example, giving yourself a no rep even if your judge said it was good or helping to correct each others movements if needed. Holding yourself accountable and to a high standard is the name of the game in the Open. This carries through to all things in life as well! It's a huge unknowing benefit that we all get from participating in the Open and coming to Islander.


ROMWOD is your friend! During the Open you should be taking advantage of our ROMWODs in SugarWOD. This is a great bedtime routine or can be done before/after the workouts in our mobility room. Feeling extra ache-y? ROMWOD will help you recover and avoid injury. Move Well and Yoga is ALSO your friend! ROMWOD is always there if our in person training sessions are full. But if you can, try and get into class with Angie or Sarah.


It's definitely easy for a lot of us over achievers to hold ourselves to a certain standard (maybe our fitter selves years ago - that's me!). Keep an open mind when approaching the Open workouts. It's important to remember that we are participating to have FUN first. We may not perform our best in any given workout and that's A-OK. Remember the only bad workout is the one that didn't happen. So simply showing up to complete all 5 workouts is a huge feat in and of itself.

Ignore the clock.

It's always easy to get discouraged when you look at the clock 3-4 minutes into a 15 min AMRAP and think "How will I EVER finish". Looking at the clock constantly is only going to slow you down and wastes time. Shift your focus to your movements, your breath and getting the work done! You can always ask your judge ahead give you a heads up when you have 2 minutes left so you can make a final strong push to the finish.

Don't hold yourself back.

Every year in the Open we see people accomplish the seemingly impossible. It's a magical time where all your hard training seems to *finally* pay off in the forms of your first muscle up, first double under, first pull up etc. Don't write yourself off from doing an RX'd Open WOD if there are movements included that you've never done before. Why not just TRY and see what happens? We never truly know our limits unless we fail first, right? Just like the saying goes "If you think you can or can't, you're probably right".


You'll learn more about the movements by not even performing them! That's right. The Open is an opportunity for you to watch others workout but judging the movements. This actually makes you a better athlete!

Set Goals.

Competing in the Open allows you to understand where your current fitness is at and helps you determine new goals for the year. The 5 weeks of workouts generally reveals at least one or two "goats". These are movements that you struggle with or cannot complete. You can set your goals there. Or maybe you just completed your first pull up in the open (yay!), it's time to start setting your sights on your first chest to bar then. That's one of the greatest things about this sport, every movement has a progression to build on. The sky is literally the limit!

At the end of the Open the most important questions to ask yourself is:

Do you know where to focus your training?

Did you learn something new?

Did you have fun?

The coaches at Islander are all here to help you make the most of the next 5 weeks. So hit us up anytime you need to chat or ask questions.

Much Love,


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